The end of Brexit – An update
The events of the last week have made me more confident than ever that there will be a People’s Vote and an end to Brexit. As I argue in my latest New European column, there are four critical facts that now make a referendum the most credible way forward.
Firstly, Tuesday’s historic Commons vote of 432-202 to reject May’s deal. Secondly, that despite this, May won a motion of confidence from the same House of Commons that eviscerated her policy. Thirdly, as I explained on talkRADIO, that in an immediate election on Brexit, there would be three Conservative parties: the ‘May deal’ party, the Rees-Mogg ‘no-deal’ party, and the Grieve ‘no Brexit’ party. Finally, that Brexit isn’t needed to respond to any ‘real existing’ crisis at home or abroad; nor is it being forced on us by external events or power. Together, these facts mean that May has lost control of Brexit, but that there will be no leadership change or general election, that Parliament is incapable of forging and agreeing a new Brexit, and that therefore the only plausible solution is dropping Brexit through another referendum.
Indeed, when I questioned the Government in the House of Lords last week, the Minister did not deny that that they are making preparations for a second referendum. And in the most remarkable and significant letter to the Times of my lifetime, on Friday, leading German figures including Angela Merkel’s successor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer made it clear that they want us to stay.
As I said in my 284 word speech on Mrs May's deal in the House of Lords, we should respond by rebuilding Britain’s place in Europe, and lead not leave. The first step to doing this is to extend Article 50 to enable another referendum, which I made the case for in an interview with JOE last week.
We then need to make sure that the referendum is conducted properly this time. In a speech to the House of Lords last Tuesday I set out ten key issues that need to be considered, including giving sixteen and seventeen year olds the vote.
We also need, urgently, a plan to rebuild Britain and tackle the social crisis which led to Brexit. As I argued in the House of Lords last week, this must include big devolution across England, on the successful model of London, and a federal Senate to replace the House of Lords, meeting in the north of England.
Last week I also continued to travel around the country, addressing huge meetings in Exeter, Shrewsbury, Birmingham, Sheffield, and London. As ever, there is more to come. I will be speaking in Didcot on the 23rd, Oxford on the 24th, Beverley on the 25th, and Keswick on the 26th – all welcome to attend.